Rheinmetall has reported strong results in the first nine months of the year driven by growth in sales in the civilian business and an increase in order intake.

The German firm’s consolidated sales totalled €3.84bn in the first three quarters of 2021, up 6% compared to €3.63bn recorded in the same period a year ago.

The increase was primarily attributed to the rebound of the automotive industry.

The group’s operating result increased to €297m in the first three quarters of this year from €205m in the prior-year period.

In addition to an increase in sales, the company’s cost-reduction measures rolled out last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic boosted Rheinmetall’s operating result.

Earnings per share also jumped year-on-year (YoY) from €2.08 to €4.16.

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Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems division, which supplies tracked and wheeled military vehicles, has reported a 3% YoY drop in sales to €1.3bn in the first nine months of 2021.

The Weapon and Ammunition division reported sales of €700m in the same period, up around 4% compared to last year’s €670m.

The Electronic Solutions division recorded an 8% decline in sales with figures dropping from €604m to €558m on a YoY basis.

Meanwhile, the Sensors and Actuators division and the Materials and Trade division recorded an increase in sales.

Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said: “Rheinmetall remains on a profitable growth trajectory. We have set a new record high for the operating result after nine months. In civilian business, we managed to increase our sales significantly again. With an ever-growing share of sales in the field of alternative drive technologies, we are well on track to manage the transformation of the industry in our civilian business.

“And with regard to military products, we are benefiting from increasing budgets in several markets and persistently high demand for modern equipment for the armed forces. We have now expanded our very high order backlog to more than €14bn with major new orders, thus reaching a completely new level for Rheinmetall.”

In fiscal 2021, the company expects to achieve slightly lower sales growth of around 6% primarily due to disruptions in raw material and semiconductor components supplies. The original forecast was around 7%-9%.